OPINION: Mistakes were made: Why Germany may freeze in the dark this winter – by Eric Reguly (Globe and Mail – June 24, 2022)


If the West can use sanctions and embargoes as weapons of war against Vladimir Putin’s Russia, so can Russia – in retaliation. And that is precisely what is happening.

In recent weeks, Russia, the main supplier of Europe’s imported natural gas, has been making it more difficult – even impossible – for European clients to buy its gas. First it demanded payment in rubles, not dollars or euros; Moscow ended deliveries to Bulgaria, Finland and Poland, allegedly for their refusal to pay in rubles.

Now Russia is reducing gas supplies to the Nord Stream 1 pipeline, which goes from Russia to Germany, by about 60 per cent. The pipeline is the main source of imported gas to Germany, Europe’s industrial powerhouse. Germany would go into deep recession without that gas. The freeze-in-the-dark scenario is no longer out of the question.

On Thursday, the waning Nord Stream 1 deliveries pushed Germany to move to the second stage of its three-stage emergency energy plan, defined as a “substantial deterioration in the gas supply situation.” The third stage is actual rationing, which would be most likely to happen in the winter, when home and factory boilers run virtually non-stop to provide heat.

For the rest of this column: https://www.theglobeandmail.com/business/commentary/article-mistakes-were-made-why-germany-may-freeze-in-the-dark-this-winter/